An East Tampa Memo

Some folks just don’t get it. And in the case of East Tampa, folks who can least afford not to get it.

To wit: What’s with those, such as the African People’s Solidarity Committee, who can’t see Mayor Pam Iorio’s early commitment to East Tampa as anything but an “attack” on the black community? They continue to criticize her for the Operation Commitment crackdown on drug-dealing and prostitution. The area, they declare, demands job opportunities as the first priority.

Memo to the APSC as well as key supporters of the St. Petersburg-based International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement:

Lose the victimology attitude and play the self-help card.

You have, arguably, some influence. Use it to reinforce the efforts of all those involved with Operation Commitment. The Police can only do so much. Ditto for Code Enforcement, Public Works, East Tampa Development and Community Lending, the Tampa Housing Authority and the mayor.

The long-term solution to East Tampa’s problems is jobs. The short-term means to that end is cleaning up the area and clearing out the druggies, thugs and prostitutes. The only reason there’s a precursor drug ordinance is a) drug dealing was rampant and b) the residents pleaded with the police to do more.

Nobody, repeat nobody, is putting jobs in an area that is by reputation and reality a haven for drugs, prostitutes and the usual spin-off criminal activities. Free enterprise also means free to go somewhere else.

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